Arkhan the Black Undead Army

Arkhan the Black Undead Army
Arkhan the Black at the head of a Deathrattle Host

Thursday, October 9, 2014

40k: New pure Dark Eldar combos

Hello folks! NoName1 here to run off a couple new combos the Dark Eldar Codex opens up

My Eldar loyalties aside, I want this to be pure Dark Eldar. No Allies nonsense, much as I think they're going to be Allied with Eldar in some flavor often, I want to look at things the vile denizens of Commorragh can do on their own.

First, The Archon bomb-

Archon, Archangel of Pain relic, Webway Portal
Royal court, a decent blob of Medusae, sprinkle with Ur-Ghuls/Sslyths for meat shields.

 The Webway Portal now allows the bearer (and unit, and Transport) to Deep Strike without scattering. BOOM.

 The AoP relic grants a single, once-per game attack. All enemy units within 9" have to take a Leadership test with a -2 Ld, and take woulds per point they fail by (if they fail), no Armor or Cover saves. Throw in Armor of Misery, and it's a -4 Ld. (total) for any enemy unit within 6".
 Unfortunately, this doesn't work at all on anything Fearless or And They Shall Know No Fear (ATSKNF). However, just picture what that would do to a Tau gunline, or Orks, or Guardsmen blobs.

 The Medusae are there just for their AP 3 Flamers. And since you can land without scattering, you can aim these shots perfectly for maximum armor/cover ignoring. This gives the bomb at least some teeth vs. SM and the like, and makes it utterly brutal to armies reliant on Cover (Eldar and Tau both fit in that category).

 You can always make this unit the Archon solo, saving points, but making him vulnerable to Intercept. Or you could load the group into a Raider or Venom (and do some rules abuse by expanding that 9" bubble because of the larger model). You could even give the Archon the best Anti-Armor gun on the list to try to snipe some rear armor. But, ideally, you want the unit to be durable enough to do the damage (i.e. survive something like an Interceptor Riptide), but inexpensive enough that when it's killed (and it nearly always will be) it's not a huge loss.
 With that in mind, it goes without saying that you don't want this Archon to be your Warlord (oops, I said it!)

 I believe this can also work with a Haemonculous (assuming he can take the Relics) and a unit of Mandrakes, but it seems like a waste of the Haemy... The advantage there would be you could do it without taking the Archon at all, and it would most benefit the beefiest heavy-hitters in the DE army.
 Also, since you'd be arriving T2 at the earliest, a Haemy would give the unit at least a minimum of FNP.

Second, Reaver Jetbikes-

 This one is more general, but this is a unit that has been fundamentally changed from what it was. These guys used to be taken in small units, to jet over enemies and hit them as they flew by. Now, they've lost the ability to quasi-vector strike, but they've gained easier access to Power from Pain (a three-man unit, even with flybys, wasn't getting many pain tokens in the past), a larger unit size, and a points drop.

 So, I would take a big unit of these guys (I might even max them out) and keep them in Reserve. I would also try to keep a Cronos or two in the list (and alive) to give them an arrival bubble with a +1 FNP (arriving turn 2+, they'll start with at least some kind of FNP). Pimp them out with four Heat Lances (or Blasters) and Caltrops.
 That's getting into pricey territory, but these guys come with Jink, FNP (on turn 2+), and an unmatched threat-range on the board. Add to that that most players won't consider them all that threatening at first - but with heat lances for sniping Armor, Strength 4, Rending Hammer of Wrath hits, and additional strength 6 hits from Caltrops, the unit can slam into anything in their way like none other. And, because their real hitting power comes from Hammer of Wrath, the lack of Grenades hardly matters. They also come stock with Combat Drugs for a free shot at +1 Toughness or Strength (or some other things that are less helpful).
 Even better, they come with Skilled Rider and Hit & Run. So abuse cover, throw them into ruins to try to block Line of Sight, and leave combat whenever you want.

 I always thought these guys were under-appreciated as a unit, and now they're even more so. Because of their speed, Jink, access to FNP, and base T4, Reaver Jetbikes are one of the most survivable infantry units in the DE Codex.

Every army is a special snowflake somehow!

Third, General Notes-

 What makes Dark Eldar special?

 -- Open-topped vehicles (skimmers, no less). This allows them to move super-fast and still unload all of the firepower of embarked units. I would argue that this makes DE better as a shooty army now than it ever did as an Assault-heavy army before.

 -- Army-wide Feel No Pain. People are still underestimating this, but hang back for a turn or two, sprinkle your army list with Haemonculi and Cronoses (Cronii?). People are busy whining about how you "get nothing turn 1," but you don't have to start on "turn 1."
 A Haemonculous gives +1 turn to his unit (Urien gives +1 within a 12" bubble), the Animus Vitae gives +1 (with some careful use), there's a Formation that gives the whole army +1 turn, and a Cronos beefs up an FNP save within a bubble by 1.
 Add that all together (Formation, Urien, Cronus) and you're starting at turn 2 Formation wide, turn 3 within 12" of Urien (or the unit a second Haemonculous is in, if you take one), and turn 4 for someone if you get that Animus Vitae wound off (or on a later turn). In addition, anyone with the FNP save in there gets +1 to it from the Cronus bubbles.
 That gives an army that's traditionally made of paper, wet paper at that, surprising staying power. Weapons that ignore armor are a heck of a lot more common than ID weapons that will ignore FNP, especially on those units in your army with T4 or better.

 -- Deep Striking with no Scatter. I can't talk about this enough. Up to two units can take an IC with one of these and Deep Strike anywhere on the board with no concern for scatter. No need for Teleport Homers, no Eldar 6" Warlord bubble - straight up, no scatter. That is AMAZEBALLS. Tau can Intercept, but almost no one else in the game can. And as long as you mind which Tau units can Intercept, you should be able to avoid or overwhelm them.
 But, we're talking Blasterborn (Trueborn with Blasters), Archon Royal Courts, Reaver Jetbikes with Heat Lances, beefy Wrack or Grotesque units - toss them wherever on the board they'll be most inconvenient, then go nuts. There are some seriously nasty combos there.

 These are the things that have jumped out at me so far. I am seriously looking forward to getting a shot at the new DE soon, and I expect they're going to give me a run for my money!

 Ok, internet. Have at it. Tell me all of these are awful and will never work. Or, let me know something I missed!


  1. Reavers come with combat drugs as don't need to spend points on it. All the wych cult units do - succubi, wyches, bloodbrides, reavers, and hellions.

    1. Whoops, thank you for catching me on that, post updated!

  2. Chances are, that Guardsman blob will have a priest in it, making it fearless.

    1. True, a lot of units will have Fearless. But all of them won't - and even if they do, Medusae and Sslyths will give even a large Guardsmen blob a run for it. And it's often very helpful to shift that blob at some point anyway, so that's a perfect time for pinpoint-dropping flamers

    2. *Not all of them will, that is

    3. right. Then, spending about 100 points to kill 3 or 4 guardsmen don't seems a big deal to me.

    4. It's 100 pts. to put one of your most lethal units - be that Medusae, Blasterborn, Eldar Allies, whatever - exactly where you want them with no scatter. That's a bargain, and if you don't throw points at expensive Relics aside from the Portal, even better.

  3. The reavers...the reavers are insane now. A maxed group with caltrops will almost kill an entire squad of space marines, just from the hammer of wrath hits.